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A White Boy in Downtown – Part 2: At the Trashcan Fire That First Night

I drove my 2001 Chevy Cavalier with the hanging passengerside headlight bulb and smashed bumper to downtown Fresno for the first time (other than for Jury Duty) in late January of 2012.

Why? You might ask. Why would a relatively affluent male WASP (white, anglo saxon, protestant) suddenly decide to go into such a dangerous, impoverished, and crime-ridden area?

Well, I suppose the root cause, dear reader, stretches back deterministically all the way to my childhood. So, because a life-story isn’t really necessary in this context, let’s just leave it at this: I wanted to try LSD or some other kind of “mind-expanding” drug in order to increase my creative and spiritual abilities.

What did I find in Downtown? Well, let’s find out together as I cast myself back in memory and time.

After an initial unsuccessful sojourn yesterday I know pretty much how to find free parking in the heart of Downtown. Passing the drab, dark stature of the Fresno Superior Courthouse and jails, streetlights play beautifully off the white paint of my Cavalier’s butt-imprinted hood. Occupy Fresno tents and signs lay, seemingly abandoned, to my right on the sidewalk of the Courthouse park.

I continue on smoothly thanking the Gods traffic isn’t horrific this time of night in Fresno. Sure, other cars pass by, but I’m so excited and anxious about attempting to buy an illicit substance from a genuine drug dealer for the first time that I just smile and crank the radio.

Brighter lights burst off the windshield and I squint a little before my eyes adjust. “CLUB ONE,” screams the casino sign on the corner of Tulare and old Van Ness. I smile more widely as the Chevy glides past into the relative darkness of Fulton Mall.

Once to H Street, I turn right. Finding an empty parking space is easy in Chinatown. No one really wants to be there other than bangers, hustlers, patrons, residents, and the owners of the shops and restaurants it seems.

I greet and pass by the few that are out in the area at this time. On my way down toward the deep dark of the industrial park on the North I begin to feel even more excited. I walk faster, both to stave off the chill of the night and the jitters of slight fear. Eventually I come across an old black gentleman.

I mention I am looking for LSD and he waves for me to come along. We walk toward the “Pov,” the Poverello House for the homeless and jobless, and I continue to make conversation. The man claims it is only about twenty for the tab of acid and I will have to stop. He succeeds in scaring me into staying away from the Poverello house.

I wait for half an hour just around the corner, hiding in the shadows of houses and trees lining the grungy, trash-heaped sidewalks. When I realize I’ve been played, I decide to venture around the corner.

Passing around the bend in the road to the left I am greeted by a dark street with what appears to be several squat encampments. Closest to me are clearly Mexican and Chicanos. I walk down the street toward the end of the Poverello house and its gates. I am hailed by a large, tall black man who I can’t see properly in the light of a washer-tub fireplace.

Apparently wearing a black leather jacket was a poor choice.

“You a cop white boy?” the man demands in a deep, booming voice.

“Fuck no, man. I’m just trying to score some acid,” I say.

I am invited to join the huddled people around the fire. Subjected to questions and scrutiny I am shortly asked to snort a tiny bump of coke from a key to prove that I am no police officer.

The coke is somewhat gross because of the drip, but it isn’t as repulsive as I heard it was.

After taking the little hit of cocaine, Teardrop, as I now know the first tall man to be, insists that even an undercover cop might snort coke. He demands I try crack. Perhaps it was the cocaine beginning to hit, but I feel very good and invincible. Shrugging, I take the pipe and follow his instructions.

I hold the lighter a little bit from the end of the “horn” and begin to inhale. It doesn’t taste bad at all. Except for a chemical flavor there isn’t much taste at all aside from an afterglow of butteriness.

It hits immediately and I understand why people enjoy the feeling, but the hit was no where near my best of the beginning days of my travels into Downtown. I feel faster, more intelligent, and elated. This is a form of flying.

I spend a few hours with Teardrop, just driving around to various hoods and to the motels. I am not offered another hit of crack the rest of that first night. Teardrop seems to want to keep me off the stuff when he realizes I truly had never tried the junk before.

After around 2 in the morning I announce it is time to go home. Teardrop demands I drop him back off at his particle board shanty and I do so before hitting the freeways to go home.


Good Prompt Today! Daily Prompt: Fast Forward

Today’s prompt is another one I can really sink my metaphorical creative teeth into as a sci-fi/fantasy/horror writer. (OK, OK, I didn’t see the prompt itself first…I saw this post [great pic by the way, Vic!] then found the prompt, so my response is a little skewed because of that inspiration.)


Vasnetsov’s Four Horsement of the Apocalypse in all its splendor!

My most recent completed draft is a future dystopic utopian sci-fi novel. It is set mostly in the year 2063 aboard an interplanetary science/exploratory vessel. The world governments have conglomerated into three major “imperial” state-systems each with colonies on either the Moon, Mars, or both.

In that novel, entitled 2063: Odyssey of the Krasivaya Vesh, the protagonist comes to realize (through various transmissions and reports from other SpaceEx – members of the “Space Explorer” culture) that the utopian placidity enforced on Earth and in the colonies is merely a facade.

Other than that, I write a lot of poetry and fiction, both in short story and novel format, about death, apocalyptic warfare, and similar morbid/dark topics. I don’t really know the why behind this tendency… but I theorize that it relates back mostly to personal experience and knowledge.

Here is an apocalyptic poem (I’m very proud of this one, but, as always, could still use some comments if anyone notices a flaw in meter or any other aspect of poetry.) I wrote that I think a lot of people have tended to enjoy. Hope you enjoy as well, dear reader.

NOTE: This was carefully constructed, but was not written with any intentioned meter, format, or other poetic structure. There is, in places, a rhyming pattern and a meter that I think might be called iambic pentameter (or other similar pentameter or iambic rhythm…I don’t know, all I know is it sounds better read aloud than it does in my head, lol), but it is more fluid than most of the hard poetry that I’ve personally read. So, that said – happy reading!

Ending of Endings

Tensions gather: world in a trance

emblazoned leaves begin a dance

in the winds that sweep our Mother

{Gaea to all Hellenes;

“Earth” she be to other dress}

and dry the faces of the men

and women who brave the tosséd mess.

Soldiers training for the fall

in the war that will enthrall

the Earth and Peoples of the earth

and all the living in its berth.

Captains calling for a drill

in harshest freeze – Boreal Chill

that burns the faces of the men.

Soldiers all, march towards an end;

(An Ending Ends all Endings!)

Armies moving out to meet;

Anthropoi seek the shield or sheet;

{Perchance them luck allows avoid

a tempest raging on geoid}

and scorch the homes and towns and lands

of all that live upon the brand –

Herakles but overlay,

the Titan Lord the weight {wait?} betray.

Things are coming to a head

as winter cloudbanks: shadow steles

now are built ‘twixt Zeus and ‘Ellas.

All cower in the roll of thunder,

no Messenger now Basilei needs,

Announces Grim {his sky’s asunder}

FINAL WAR!: our hasted blunder.

Questions {myriad their number}

breech the minds

in wizened skulls:

those Few who seek now to preserve

some measure of our lost reserve.

Alas their charge came overdue

impotent force sees now this true.

Ares marches to consume

All that can {and can’t in gloom}

take up arms against his might!

Hades marching in the night,

Thanatos the grim he joins

in solemn, cold, unfeeling step;

Forge the rivers!

Smash the damns!

Hell is loose upon our lands!

Fires burning!

Bombs explode!

Earth had been his sick demand!;

This Ending Ends all Endings!

But from the ash

We’ll rise again

A thorn to mock the dreaded crash

And live to see the land restored:

Our time here never left deplored

Well, that’s that! I really do hope you enjoy it! I’ll keep posting poetry since I seem to be getting only encouragement and positive comments when I do so! Haha. Power of positive reinforcement there, I suppose. If you DO, however, see an error or something that you feel could be improved, please, by all means, point it out to me publicly OR privately. That kind of honesty and advice is always as welcome as compliments or other general comments. Whether you liked or not…I’d love to hear about it!

Have an unbelievable day/night!

In Earnest,

King Pollux ~ Adam Kristofer Walkingstick King

On Being a Misfit, an Outsider, a Lone Wolf

I saw this post on “vic briggs | a writer adrift” and it inspired me to write on the topic too. I saw that daily prompt (from yesterday the ninth) but didn’t really feel moved to post on the topic with how I was feeling that day. Frankly, yesterday (Thursday, Jan 9th) was just a shit day in most aspects.

In any event, I felt that it would be great to post a sort of personal response to Vic Briggs’ post explaining how I feel about being a writer and a weirdo (“weirdo” is my own addition and shouldn’t be misconstrued as calling all writers “weirdos”… though many are, 😛 neener-neener).

I’ll begin with a bit of a cliche. I always felt different.

In my case, however, that feeling different felt normal and I never felt as if I did not “fit in” as a child. That may not make a whole lot of sense to you presently, but, please, hear me out and I can explain.

You know that feeling, in the summer, when you go inside from the screeching heat? That feeling of complete and utter relief? When the thermostat may be turned up to a mere couple degrees below the outdoor temperature and it doesn’t fucking matter, you still feel relief?

That’s kind of how “feeling different” from all the other kids felt like when I was young.

I accepted the fact that I was different and also the fact that I could still fit into the social groups I was expected to fit in with. I could still “succeed” by the standards of my parents and teachers while remaining true to the fact that I was unique. Yea, even at a young age I could get a little grandiose and overly cocky.

Once, in the Third Grade, another boy and I made a game of prank calling the police from the pay phone (sorry, kids, many of you younger folks probably haven’t even seen one of those 😛 ) just outside the office. It was a blast! We knew deep below the surface that what we were doing was wrong. We knew this was forbidden. Someone had taught us this lesson already: calling the police when there is no danger is dangerous for other people. That was the FUN part about the game!

J.J. and I got away with prank calling for a few days just fine. The office personnel were always inside or far from the office during recesses. We figured as long as no one caught us in the act, it would be fine. Of course that meant I had to go off on my own and push the envelope just a hair too far and get caught in the act. (I usually knew/know when to call something quits, but in that case I completely misjudged the location of the stopping line.)

That was embarrassing! That single event, I’m sure, is the reason I tried so hard in the years stretching from then to now to do whatever I wanted without getting caught doing the things authorities looked poorly upon. I managed to cute-ify* and manipulate my way out of the prank calling incident and if I could do that I figured I could do it again in other situations.

See, from a very young age I was a rebel. A punk. A misfit prince of thieves and deception. Even as a toddler I was 95% pure mischief. Its that outer 5% of cuteness, innocence, and wit that kept me from ever getting into serious trouble.

I always had a relatively large group of friends and never had any trouble getting along with anyone, adult or child. My mother supposes that my learning to talk and read at a young age coupled with her own propensity to speak to me as if I were an adult while I was still in my crib helped me to learn excellent social skills in general. I am grateful (more than I can ever say) for my parents both, for their encouragement and nurturing. It sure wasn’t expected that I’d do anything other than what I wanted within the household. They just did their best to teach me how to want and like the things that would kill me, harm me, and do neither of those things to others.

Upon reaching junior year in High School (I believe it is generally also called “secondary school”, for non-American readers) I met her. That girl that I thought I would marry in my youth and naivete. Yea, well… dedicating everything of myself to anyone at that age and in the ensuing years was a major mistake.

So, it happened, that at the times I wanted to rebel the most I wound up with someone who opened my eyes to many truths I’d never had to face before. We were so different and so bull-headed and determined that somehow the relationship worked for us. Sadly, it didn’t work for any of my large family or enormous friend base.

Now, just over 8 years later, my life is only just beginning to regain some semblance of togetherness and health.

During those 8 years running from 11th grade to November of 2011 I went through the soul crushing experience of morphing from a confident and independent young man into a groveling, lying, thieving, wretched, crack addict. I had no friends. My family had all but given up on me (except my parents, they, of course, always held out hope). I was that lone wolf I always thought I wanted to be. I chose the Wolf and the Wolf chose me.

Moving from conservative Christianity to anti-Christianity to vague neo-paganism to Hellenismos was a hard process alone. I’ve been a Hellenic polytheist since late 2007. (Which happens to be the year I graduated High School and began attending California State University, Fresno and living, for the first time, out of my parent’s home and on campus.) I only just got the courage and fortitude to tell my parents mere weeks ago.

I’ve been a Misfit. I’ve been that Outsider of which true artists and vainglorious frauds speak. I am the Lone Wolf.

The only reason I’ve survived thus far? I also happen to have a pack.

I don’t walk alone as much as I felt I did for so long and as much as I thought I wanted to. Sure, it’s a marvelous feeling to “go your own way,” but humans are social creatures and no amount of lying to yourself will change that. The only way to survive for long as a “misfit,” “outsider,” or “lone wolf” is to find a “pack” of other outliers that you fit in well with.

That’s how I survived when multiple situations should have found me dead or in prison upon reaching their ending.

  • I’ve overdosed on cough syrup (just robo-tripping) and wound up in the hospital on saline IV drips twice then was 5150’d and brought to the Community Behavioral Health Center in east Fresno where I was 5250’d and only released ten days later because my parents signed me out on my own recognizance in their care at my begging and pleading
  • I’ve had guns in the hands of those more than willing to shoot aimed at my car
  • I’ve had people threaten to beat me up or kill me
  • I’ve been surrounded by gang bangers, cutthroats, and dope addicts who might have attacked or murdered me for little more than a sideways glance at the wrong moment
  • I’ve been addicted to opiates (mostly stolen hydrocodone pills, but sometimes oxy if I could get it free) as well as crack cocaine (sometimes using them both within a brief time frame)
  • I’ve been on the verge of murdering other men on more than one occasion (by on the verge I mean “so pissed or otherwise upset that I actually had plans for killing them in cold blood and getting away with it and came very close at least three or four times to actually acting out the plan”)
  • I’ve been handcuffed and arrested (then released) by Clovis PD for having smoking paraphernalia (a little glass crack stem) in my pocket while one of the brake lights in my brother’s jeep was out [NOTE: If you are on or coming down from powerful stimulants, have some drugs or paraphernalia in the car, get pulled over, and have never had to face the police while in such a state before… you’re probably screwed. Sorry, that’s just the way it goes. Those guys are trained to recognize the symptoms.]

I won’t go on here, this post is long enough. Still, if you’ve read this far: Thank you very much.

You few that read this and take something from it…I’d like the message you take from it to be whatever message you need to hear from such a topic at this stage of your life.

In the end, people cannot survive for long or very happily without other people. Even if you never associate with anyone in “mainstream” society somehow and cast yourself out as a misfit/loner/outsider/reject/lone wolf… you need socialization. Sure, you could survive for a while on the company of animals or imaginary friends, but you won’t thrive.

Surviving. is. NOT. living.

So, thanks for reading! I hope you take something out of this even if that one something is the conclusion that I am completely insane! ^_^ I AM!

DING-DING-DING-DING!! We’ve got a winner folks! Give this guy-girl/girl-guy/person (because honestly who can tell these days anyway and why does it really matter in the end when gender is more cultural myth than physical status?) the booby prize for recognizing the obvious!

😛 I learned a few years ago that claiming insanity actually means I’m not crazy. (Run that one through the old noodle and see what shakes out. Bahahahahahahahaha!)

Have an unbelievable day!

In Earnest,


King Pollux ~ Adam Kristofer Walkingstick King

King of Delusional Grandeur,

Prince of Thieves on Earth,

Demi-god Son of Zeus and Leda,

did the scribe list “King of Delusional Grandeur”?

Oh…so he did…good

ta-ta for now folks!

*Derp* Here’s the daily prompt!

Fiction Short: Pueblo Pequeño

NOTE: Seeing as how my poetry is being somewhat well received, I thought I’d share some fiction too. Why the hell not, after all? This is a blog about writing, huh?

So, this piece, “Pueblo Pequeño,” is also from my collection of shorts and poetry. You can check out the book in the Kindle store if you like! There are three shorts, a brief non-fiction piece, and a cadre of poems. The book is only .99, of course, but is also available in paperback from Create Space through Amazon/Kindle.

Here it is:

Now, the story! I hope you enjoy it! Let me know what you think, please!

Maria Rosalva De Santiago is a sturdy woman. One might describe her as homely with a vague, grandmotherly appeal. Skin stretches over her face and arms, rough and sun-darkened from years of exposure. Wrinkles crease the corners of her eyes. She trudges through weeds toward the house, a handmade poncho drapes over her slender frame. The sun buries itself in the ground behind. She pauses to look back, a workworn hand resting on the brass knob.

Maria pulls the faded red door open. She has no desire to be outside after sundown. Inside, the adobe walls of the ranchhouse are lit by kerosene lamps. Brilliant blankets of Aztec design hang from the walls. On one wall a mural dances under living light. Colors flicker, armadillos and coyotes prancing in a dusty field of mutetones. Maria shuffles toward the kitchen. It’s coffee-before-bedtime.

The woman drops gnarled mesquite into the woodburner. The smoky, spicy scent wafts upward as loose sawdust puffs up from the wood. Shoving sage underneath Maria lights it with a broken matchstick. Moving to a corner she draws water from a pump, filling a robin’s egg kettle. Moving back to the oven the señora places the kettle on the stove’s flattop and pulls a stool from the table. Clutching a tin mug in a leather hand she brushes raven hair over her ear. It has been a hard year this last.

José Francisco de Santiago died in a tornado out on the range while herding cattle. Now, the ranch is in disrepair. Fences are filled with gaps, snarls of barb-wire twisting through the brush. Plants lay strewn across the land; the few managing to hold on are frayed and pitiful. Señora De Santiago ferrets enough money away each season to hire hands, but just enough to keep the ranch running. If business continues to decline she will have to shut down and live off the remaining goats and cows.

Without a doubt these are difficult times, but Maria Rosalva lives a long way from the defunct Wall Street markets. She lives fairly well, all things considered. A shortage of food on a ranch is rare. That, in couple with the fact that the señora never puts her money in a bank insures relative comfort. Paying more help is a drain on ranch funds nonetheless. The way Maria sees it she has one more selling season to turn a profit or give up on business.

Still, time goes on and life does not pause for heartbreak. “That a fifty-three year old woman must manage a Texas ranch alone doesn’t stop God’s sun from rising each day. Such is life,” as Maria says. The waterkettle begins a ragged cry and she lifts it from the stove. Stumping over to a small cabinet Maria Rosalva sprinkles cinnamon over the coffee. This is how Maria Rosalva makes coffee: “no crema, no sugar, solamente canela”. It’s how her father brewed it.

There is a lilting howl from outside, a series of yips follows. Coyotes are common out here. Maria slips off the stool and peers out a round window into the darkening fields. She is glad she moved the animals back to their barbwire enclosures two days past. Coyotes can take a heifer if they are hungry enough, even with an angry bull stomping around.

Another howl punctuates the silence of dusk, this time others answer. Again comes the yipping. Maria pauses then, it sounds as if the creatures are nervous, not stalking prey. She’s not known coyotes to be nervous since wolves passed through years ago. It’s strange, but she supposes that hunters and farmers can’t kill all the brutes. Maria Rosalva grunts then sighs. She will go to town tomorrow. The shotgun is short on ammunition and she needs more if wolves come. Barbwire is not enough to stave off hungry wolves. They always find a way through, especially with perforations sabotaging the fences.

Maria begins her fractured walk down the hall to her bedroom. A bone-chilling shriek rends the night. A goat is screaming.

“Damn!” Maria curses.

Turning back she grabs the shotgun from its rack. The wizened señora shoves the door open and forces one of three cartridges into the shotgun’s breech. The goats are in an enclosure that encircles the house. She jogs sloppily around the corner and sees the animal. It is still emitting weak cries but it’s clear it won’t rise. A small, dark form crouches over the dying goat.
“Madre de Dios!” señora De Santiago says, hissing. The phantasm turns and gallops away into the darkness. Coyotes do not run like that. It looks almost like a monkey from its movements. Maria never saw a real monkey, but they are often featured in safari pictures showcased at the cinema in Dallas. The señora crosses herself and grips her rosary. The shotgun dangles at her side, forgotten. It’s possible the creature was a wounded coyote but that logic fails against a shiver that consumes thought.

The rest of the night passes in the semisilence of the ranchos. Maria Rosalva wakes the next day feeling rejuvenated and ready to make a trek into town. She walks out to bury the goat, warding off shivers of fear with the Lord’s Prayer and a Hail Mary. Its throat is mangled, dark stains sunken in the dust. Maria digs a grave and drags the animal to it and rolls it in, a sickening thump greeting its arrival. After covering the poor young thing with a thin layer of dirt the señora proceeds to the house. She yanks several dollars from a tin jar she hides in a cabinet; one of her many hideholes.

Making the trip into the small town is a pain, but worth the trouble. After the night before, Maria Rosalva needs more shotgun shells than she planned on. It’s not bad to have extra protection, but she resents the necessity. As a practical and level-headed woman she is not one to believe much in ghost tales or jump at shadows. Whatever animal haunts her goat pen will die in a gunblast like any other.

Maria Rosalva De Santiago limps into town. The journey tortures her arthritic joints. “I need more aspirin maybe”, she thinks. Most of the time Maria is OK without the prescription, but when she walks too much it becomes necessary. Several townspeople wave or call to the old woman. She is well liked for her traditional ways. Though some find her rough demeanor chafing, most enjoy her company.

Maria always buys her shells from Pablo Juarez. Stumping into the store and up to the counter she calls out for the man. He must be in the back as usual.

“Pablo, vete aqui!” she says, smirking. Señora de Santiago relishes ordering the man around, he always plays along. Before long she hears footsteps from the storage room.
“Ah, Maria! It has been a long time! I’ve missed you!” Pablo says, smiling widely.

“Oh, callate! I’m nothing special and you know it. I need two boxes of shells Juarez,” she says. Pablo nods and smiles again. Turning back to a shelf he picks the ammunition.

“Two boxes huh? That’s more than you usually get. Problems Maria?” he asks.

The old woman winks. “Don’t you worry your little head mijo,” she says, smiling now. Pablo grins in return, hands her the cartridges and the change. The shells are expensive, but not unbearable. Prices have a habit of moving slowly from the cities to this remote villa.

Maria Rosalva limps out of the store and continues. She passes the sheriff’s office with its one jail cell on the way to the pharmacy. The sheriff, John Haggard, nods and tips his hat as she stumps down the road. She nods in return without pause. Grunting her way into the pharmacy she shouts for the pharmacist, Dr. Ricardo Sanchez. The man is the local doctor and prescribed the very medicine Maria is here to collect.
“Hello Maria! It’s nice to see you my dear, it has been some time,” he says, amiable as always. The Doctor’s gray hair gives away his claim to oldest townsperson, even older than Maria Rosalva De Santiago.

“Yes, it has médico. I need a refill on my arthritis prescription, this old leg is killing me,” she says, patting her aching limb. The doctor shakes his head and turns back for the medication. He always has some on hand. Life on the plains is tough.

“Gracias,” Maria Rosalva says, paying the pharmacist as she took the pill bottle.

“Por nada, señorita. I hope this helps,” he said, smiling at her.

Maria leaves town, beginning the long trek home. Again, people call out greetings and farewells in a mixture of Spanish and English. The town is mostly Mexican with a few whites mixed in. It is a decent place, but a common sight on the plains of Texas. There are many villages like this at the nexus of ranches and farms.

When she arrives home the sky is darkening. Maria Rosalva walks inside after checking the cattle and goats. She puts a pot of coffee on the stove and lights the oven. Sitting down the aging woman groans and massages her hip. She pulls the aspirin out of her pocket and swallows two.

As the sun sinks below the edge of the Earth, Maria sighs. She wonders if the strange beast will return. Just then the coyotes begin. This time there is only howling and normal yipping. Maria relaxes and sips her coffee. There is nothing out tonight beside the coyotes and whatever they hunt.

Two weeks pass. Autumn cool blows into the ranchos. Maria Rosalva’s aching hip takes longer to calm in the cold. It is a hassle dealing with the twinges, but ranches do not run themselves. The hands are already gone, the harvest season all but through. Maria finds the work more difficult than in previous years. She finds herself in a difficult position. It has been a very hard year. Maria Rosalva De Santiago is weary and bored. She has no one to talk to other than animals and nothing to do but work.

Maria Rosalva goes to bed one night to the howls of coyotes. They are especially active lately; she supposes there must be a large family of groundhogs nearby. Then, suddenly, the howling changes and the yipping picks up its pace. They’re nervous again. The wizened woman sits up in bed. “Merde!” she cries out, jumping out of her bed. Grabbing the shotgun by the door and loading it with her new ammo she rushes out the door. A goat screams just as she got off the porch. This time the racket comes from behind the house.

As she runs around the ranch home she raises the shotgun and cocks back the hammer. She stops in her tracks. Another mature goat lays twitching on the ground. A dark shape again hunches over the dying animal. Just as she begins to pull the trigger the creature looks up, red eyes glinting in the cloud fractured moonlight. The gun blast is deafening as both barrels explode. Then, the animal leaps straight up into the air just as the shot begins to leave the weapon. “Madre de Dios!” Maria Rosalva shouts. The beast leaps about ten feet, reinforcing the impression of a monkey as it falls to the ground on two feet.

The creature lopes off again, galloping into the dark as Maria reloads the gun and shoots more buckshot into the air over the animal. It’s too far away to hit anyway now. The thing is fast. Maria Rosalva De Santiago breathes deep, attempting to slow her sprinting heart. She walks over to the goat and again witnesses the mangled throat. Then, light flashes over another figure in the grass several yards away.

“Puta! Mató dos!” she cries. There is another goat. Blood pools on the ground but the animal is not eaten. It is strange. The unknown creature kills the goats as a coyote does, but only takes a few chunks and then leaves the animals alone. Not to mention she’s never known coyotes to kill two fat goats in one night.

Just as Maria Rosalva is falling back to sleep the coyotes start up that nervous yapping again. She rushes outside, loads the gun again and fires. Silence falls and the rest of the night is unbroken. The next day finds Maria on her way back into town. Doubtless the journey will cause increased hip pain for the woman, but she needs to talk to the sheriff. She leaves the two goats where they lay; it’s worth the risk of luring the strange killer back to show the sheriff how they’d been killed.
The sheriff is surprised when the aged De Santiago humps into his office. She’d been here just two weeks before; her visits are becoming more frequent. That’s not to mention the fact that she’s never come to see him before. He raises an eyebrow and nods at her, reserving speech for when she speaks first.

“Buenos Dias Señor,” Maria Rosalva says, dipping her head and sitting down in the chair across the desk from the Sheriff.

“Buenos Dias,” the sheriff says, still reserving more comment until she gives a reason for why she is here.

“I need you to come down to the ranch,” she says bluntly.
Again raising an eyebrow the sheriff says, “And why do you need me to make that trip?”

“Something is killing my goats. It’s got three already,” she starts.

“Coyotes?” he asks, cutting her short.

“No,” she says point blank. The sheriff looks at her, eyebrow rising higher on his forehead. He begins tapping his fingers on the desk. “It isn’t coyotes,” she continues, “them I can deal with. It’s something else.”

“Hm, something else huh? Not a wolf I suppose?” he says, standing up.

“No, again, I can handle dogs. This thing is darker and doesn’t look like it has fur, unless it’s very short. The strangest thing is that it doesn’t eat the goats,” she says.

“You’re not suggesting…” the sheriff begins, breaking off into a hearty laugh.

“Of course not, don’t be silly. That old wives tale? No, it must be some sort of animal,” she says, quite serious.

“Well, I suppose I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t accompany you back to the ranch to at least see what you’re talking about,” the sheriff jibes, still grinning.

Maria Rosalva walks out the door without further comment. The odd pair makes the trip to the ranch in complete silence, the woman limping worse as they progress. As they pass through the gate the sheriff begins to look around. Maria nods toward the house indicating it was on the other side. They skirt the building and the sheriff nods, there are indeed two intact goats in the weeds.

“What the hell?” the sheriff whispers as he looks at the dead livestock. Their throats are open but no other damage is evident. It is quite clear they are nearly drained of blood.

“You see señor?” Maria Rosalva De Santiago asks.
Nodding, the sheriff keels down beside the first goat and looks more closely.

“They’ve been bitten two or three times each but that’s it,” the woman mentions. Sheriff Haggard nods again and touches the goat. The taut flesh is further testament to the blood taken from the animal. Bones stand out on the thing’s body, but the amount of fat says it should be much plumper.

“Yep, it’s strange,” John says, looking over to the second goat.

Maria Rosalva grunts. She nudges the second goat with her boot and it shifts. The animal is lighter than usual without blood. The sheriff stands back on his feet and looks at the old woman.

“Well, I’ll keep an eye out and ask the other farmers if they’ve seen anything,” he says carefully.

“Thanks John, that’s all I was asking for,” Maria replies, “incidentally, what do you think it was?”

Shrugging, the officer smirks, “Chupacabra?”

The pair laugh.

Nodding to the lady Sheriff Haggard begins his trudge back to the town. This is something for the books. A predator that does not eat goats but drinks their blood is definitely unusual. He chuckles to himself as he opens the gate, chupacabra indeed.

Two months pass. Nothing happens. No nervous coyotes, no dead goats, and no more visits to the sheriff’s office. Maria Rosalva De Santiago resumes her normal routine. For the first few weeks after the attacks she stands outside as the sun goes down, her shotgun at the ready, loaded and cocked. Now, the lull of boring standard procedure takes over once more.
The goats and cows give their milk and graze. The night air is crisper than it was. Fall is officially taking hold and the temperature drops steadily. Maria stands outside as the sun begins to go down, shotgun leaning against a wall behind her. It is ready to fire, but she feels no need to hold it. It’s a beautiful evening. She thinks she’ll take a walk around the goat enclosure. Picking up the gun she begins to walk, limping a bit.

Maria Rosalva De Santiago starts in surprise. A strange noise comes from around a corner of the house. It is a shuffling, rustling noise in the grass. She immediately thinks “Snake.” Then, dropping that notion, she hears a crunching noise. That is bone breaking, something she knows well from decades of slaughtering animals.

She creeps around the corner and fights back a gasp. The sleek, black frame bends low over a goat. It moves up and down as it breathes around the neck in its mouth. Raising the shotgun Maria stills and takes aim. Cursing herself for a fool she cocks back the hammer as smoothly and quietly as she can. Unfortunately, there is no disguising the click as the gun snaps to the ready position. A ghastly head turns around, red eyes again shining out under the moonlit sky.

A guttural, rumbling noise comes from its chest. Maria’s breath catches in her throat and she can’t pull the trigger. Terror freezes the calm woman. The creature begins an odd movement. It weaves its head in a rhythmic rocking motion, like a snake hypnotizing a rodent. Maria Rosalva is suddenly aware of her heart pounding against ribs.

A roar tears open the silence of the night. Maria catches a flash of movement in the muzzle burst. The beast growls again. Goats make anxious cries. Coyotes start up in the background. Moonlight glistens off the shotgun and Maria’s black hair.
The creature glares at Maria Rosalva, continuing its growls and head weaving. The old woman breaks eye contact. She pulls shells from her poncho. Breaking the breech barrel she thumbs ammo inside. Popping it back into position she rises the barrel, ready to cock it.

Maria stares at the animal. She cocks the shotgun. A feeling of paralysis spreads once more as red eyes bore into her soul. Ice trickles down her back, pins and needles boring into her body. Shivers wrack her spine. She can’t pull the trigger. Maria Rosalva De Santiago can do nothing. Its night and there is a monster right in front of her, but she can do nothing.
The creature is upon her. Maria falls silently, rubies spraying. Jaws clamp around her neck. A keening sound rises from the animal as it feasts. Ruined life seeps to the ground beneath the beast’s claws.

A fifty-three year old Texas woman killed on a ranch doesn’t stop God’s sun from rising. Such is life.

Still Procrastinating

Well, no editing has been done on any of my works. Anyone surprised?

Hey, look at me! I’m the over-caffeinated, nicotine poisoned, bi-polar, egomaniac come to save you all from your doomed existence in frivolity and slavery!

On the plus-side, I did get my “laptop” up and running again after I accidentally corrupted its BIOS.

Huh? What’s that Sis? Oh, I didn’t tell them that story yet? Well, I’d better do that now. Sit down, brothers and sisters and friends, and read well. Iiiiiiiits…

Story Time with Pollux!

A few weeks ago, back in late November, I moved out here to Mechanicsburg, PA to live with my “twin flame” and her parents. She has a nice shiny iMac and I’d brought my little Gateway laptop.

So, I was playing around with some security auditing and “hacking” tools just for fun, right? I rooted my Android phone, then Admin-ed my Windows 7 OS and rooted my Ubuntu OS (both on my laptop).

I was doing simple things, you know, SSH-ing the iMac, pinging networks and gaining administrative privilege to them, and decided to backup all my systems. So, I backed up both partitions on the Gateway (that’s Ubuntu and Windows 7, keep up) as well as my JellyBean Android OS. Uh-oh! Big problems.

My “sister’s” expensive five-year-old Apple began acting up. It grey-screened. By then she was almost hysterical and I completely baffled.

“What the FUCK did I do?”

See, other than the rooting and secure-shelling, this is all stuff I’ve done safely and under the supervision of an Information Systems teacher. (I forgot to mention I dropped out of the IS certification/degree program when I left California. So, I usually know what the hell I’m doing with computers and such. I’d never broken any computer on accident before and never FUBAR’d one so thoroughly without being able to fix it almost immediately.) Cansas, my twin, used to repair/refurbish iBooks and other Apple systems, so she is also baffled as well as pissed the fuck off.

We tried turning off the network (I’d setup network boots on all systems, we still don’t quite know exactly how the hell I did all this without so much as touching the iMac) and wiping the Mac’s hard drive to reinstall/upgrade the OS. Even worse.

At this point I’m shitting bricks and my sis is beginning to calm down and say “This isn’t possible. How did you do this to an Apple system without touching it? What the hell did you do!?” My only response was “I am so so so sorry! I don’t know what the fuck I did! I showed you everything I was doing.”

Well, my laptop fails at about the time we realize that the iMac just had a failed hard drive. The thing was scheduled to go out in the near future anyway, so the strain of trying to update to Mavericks and being wiped a couple times caused it to just say “buh-bye.”

I tear my laptop apart (mind you, this was a gift from my parents, so it really sucked) and try to boot from a USB rescue disk. Its still sitting on our counter-top down in our apartment, a bare motherboard and peripheries.


There it is booting. Oh, my creation lives!

Finally, after weeks of stressing the fuck out and screaming at various electronics (as well as a couple of bewildered tech-support agents), I’ve got the laptop working again. Turns out…factory reset usually does the trick. Thank the Gods I had backups of all my files on the external drive.

The iMac is still collecting dust, but we have all the necessary tools and components to fix it. Yea, Cansas procrastinates aaaaaaalllmost as hard as I do. (Sorry, sis, I think I win this booby-prize.)

Moral of this story, kids? Don’t hack an entire sub-domain of Verizon fiber networks and then upload your OS…it WILL corrupt the kernel of any system it touches.

(Still…the heady rush of gaining admin power over any network I touched was freaking awesome. Mwa…ha…ha…ha. Beware the Crazed PenMonkey Rainbow-hat Haccker!)

In any event, I need to get some editing done soon.

Have an unbelievable day you all!

In Earnest,

King Pollux ~ Adam Kristofer Walkingstick King

On the NEXT exciting episode of Story Time with Pollux:

Will the two-hundred pound net of writhing stuffed caterpillars and assorted insects fall from the ceiling to crush our intrepid Hero Twins? Tune in again next time!

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